Estimating Technology Performance Improvement Rates by Mining Patent Data
73 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2017 Last revised: 16 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 15, 2018
The future direction of technology development depends on the relative yearly rate of functional performance improvement of different technologies. We use patent data to identify accurate and reliable predictors of this rate for 30 technologies. We illustrate how patent-based predictors should be normalized to correct for possible confounding factors introduced by changing patenting dynamics. We test the accuracy and reliability of various predictors by means of a Monte Carlo cross-validation exercise. We find that a measure of the centrality of domains' patented inventions in the overall US patent citation network is an accurate and highly reliable predictor of improvement rates.
Keywords: Technology Performance, Exponential Rates, Patents, Citations, Centrality, Trajectories
JEL Classification: O32
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